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A true iPod killer? Sony's new Walkmans will hit Japan first

A true iPod killer? Sony's new Walkmans will hit Japan first

A couple of weeks ago, a Sony spokesperson indicated to me that the NW-HD5's "replacement" would be announced on September 8 but that it would be an Asia-only device for the time being. For now, the 20GB NW-A3000 (violet or silver) and the 6GB NW-A1000 (pink or blue) will not be coming to the States anytime soon, but we're still intrigued by the futuristic design of both units, as well as the rumored prospect that they will be compatible with WMA.

Each device is being aggressively branded as a "Walkman" model, and they both have a distinct new look, somewhat fashioned after the glossy OLED screen-driven E500 series. The 20GB version has a 2-inch screen, while the 6GB version sports a 1.5-inch screen, and though neither includes photo nor video features as seen on some competitors, there will be some neat features such as Artist Link, which searches for artists, albums, and genres, closely tied to the current song, and two shuffle modes: My Favorite Shuffle (100 most-played tracks) and Time Machine shuffle (plays all tracks from a randomly selected year).

Sony has sights on the Apple iPod franchise and hopes to sell more than 4.5 million by the end of March 2006, according to the New York Times. The new players will be available in Japan only on November 19 and will likely come to the States after a couple of months.